Arlo Video Doorbell Review 2020
The Arlo Video Doorbell is among the latest and greatest video doorbells to hit the market. Arlo makes a bunch of other cameras we already love, like the Arlo Ultra and the Arlo Pro 3, so we hoped the Arlo Video Doorbell would be a good addition to the system.
And it is! The Arlo Video Doorbell has some sweet selling points, like a 1:1 aspect ratio that lets you see more of your porch, and AI features like package detection. Sign us up.
|Model||Price||Resolution||Storage type||Learn more|
|Arlo Video Doorbell||$149.99||1080p||Local and cloud storage*||View on Amazon|
Amazon.com List Prices (as of 7/17/20 10:13 PST) Full disclaimer
* Local storage requires an Arlo SmartHub base station.
Arlo Video Doorbell features
We love a whole bunch of the Arlo Video Doorbell’s innovative features.
The Arlo Video Doorbell does all the stuff you’d expect from a doorbell camera. It gives you high-definition video resolution (1080p), two-way audio, night vision, etc. You’ll get a notification when anyone steps on your porch, be it package thief or friendly visitor.
Along with all the standard doorbell cam goodies, the Arlo Video Doorbell gives you some unique benefits we really like.
Arlo Video Doorbell features:
- 1080p resolution with HDR
- Two-way audio
- Night vision
- Hardwired power
- 180º field of view
- 12x digital zoom
- Cloud storage
- Person detection
- Package detection
- Vehicle detection
- Emergency calling
- Built-in siren
- Pre-recorded messages option
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration
1:1 aspect ratio
First of all, the Arlo Video Doorbell has a 1:1 aspect ratio. You’ll notice that the image you get from your Arlo Video Doorbell is a square shape.
That’s because Arlo makes the image just as tall as it is wide. (Most doorbell cameras are much wider than they are tall, which means you can’t see objects on your porch, like packages.)
When we tested it, we found that the Arlo Video Doorbell still lets you see all the way down to the surface of your porch, even with close-up shots.
Phone call notifications
Most video doorbells send you a push notification when they detect motion or a person on your porch. But what if you’re busy and you miss the opportunity to tell the FedEx guy to hide your new Playstation 5 behind that potted plant?
The Arlo Video Doorbell solves this by calling your phone when someone rings your doorbell. That way, you don’t notice a notification 10 minutes later.
There’s a downside to this feature, though: you can’t turn it off. And it can get annoying if you don’t want a phone call every time some neighbor kids think it’s time to play Ding-Dong Ditch.
If you subscribe to an Arlo Smart plan, then you can get more than basic “motion detected” alerts. The Arlo Video Doorbell can tell you what it sees, as long as what it sees is a person, vehicle, animal, or package.
It’s so much easier to sort through the notifications on your phone if they have more detail than just “motion.” Arlo’s smart notifications let you see when there’s an alert you actually want to pay attention to, like a person coming to visit, rather than just your neighbor’s cat hanging out on your porch again.
Another cool feature Arlo offers is emergency calling right from the Arlo app. If you open a notification from your doorbell camera and see someone breaking into your house or doing some other nefarious thing, you can call the police right away.
That’s not just convenient; it’s also a safety feature. Normally, when you call 9-1-1, your phone calls the nearest 9-1-1 dispatcher to your current location. But if someone’s at your house, then you want the nearest one to your address, even if you’re not physically there.
The Arlo emergency calling feature calls the 9-1-1 dispatcher closest to your house no matter where you are. You could be sitting at a cafe in Estonia and still call the right station.
Arlo Video Doorbell pricing
The Arlo Video Doorbell is a good value for what you get.
Arlo Video Doorbell home automation
The Arlo Video Doorbell works with Google and Alexa.
Arlo Video Doorbell installation
The Arlo Video Doorbell hardwires into your existing doorbell connection.
The Arlo Video Doorbell shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so to install. The camera does hardwire into your existing doorbell, which means installation involves some light electrical work. Just don’t forget to turn off the breaker that connects to your doorbell wiring, and you’ll be fine.
Arlo Video Doorbell installation steps:
- Download the Arlo mobile app.
- Create an account (or select the option to Add New Device).
- Install the doorbell power kit in your chime box.
- Turn off the breaker that powers your doorbell. (Very important.)
- Take out your existing doorbell.
- Secure the mounting plate.
- Connect the wires on the Arlo Video Doorbell to your existing doorbell wiring.
- Turn the power back on.
- Connect the doorbell to your Wi-Fi network through the app.
That’s a broad overview of what can be a bit of a tricky process. For more information on how to install your Arlo Video Doorbell, follow the instructions in the app or check out the Arlo Video Doorbell user manual.
Recap: Is Arlo Video Doorbell good?
The Arlo Video Doorbell is one of the best doorbell cams for your buck.
If there was an Avengers-style squad for the best doorbell cameras, the Arlo Video Doorbell would definitely make the cut. It would probably be the Captain America of the group. Or maybe Black Widow. The point is, the Arlo Video Doorbell is a great porch-watching device.
Features: The Arlo Video Doorbell has a bunch of cool features worth bragging about, including a 1:1 aspect ratio, smart alerts, emergency calling, and a built-in siren. This camera has top-notch functionality.
Pricing: For what it can do, the Arlo Video Doorbell is quite affordable. (Especially when you compare the price to the Google Nest Hello.) But it’s not the cheapest doorbell cam on the market.
Home automation: The Arlo Video Doorbell works with Alexa and Google. We’re waiting on an Apple HomeKit integration.
Installation: Installation is pretty easy, but you will have to remove your existing doorbell and connect this model to the wiring. Follow the instructions in the Arlo app.
All-in-all, we’re pretty impressed with Arlo’s contribution to the doorbell camera market. And if you already use other Arlo cameras around your property, then the Arlo Video Doorbell will fit right in with your other devices.
Is your house ready for Arlo Video Doorbell?
The Arlo Video Doorbell alone probably won’t use a ton of internet bandwidth or phone data. But if you use other Arlo cameras (or any security cameras) around your property, it might be worth reconsidering your plans.
Recommended internet plans
Video streaming takes up a lot of bandwidth, so if your internet plan is already taxed by Netflix, gaming, and working from home, then your new Arlo Video Doorbell might be the last straw for your download speeds.
Check out some of these plans recommended by our local internet expert, Catherine McNally, for upgrade options.
|Xfinity Internet - Central||Performance||$40*||100 Mbps||View Plan|
|CenturyLink Internet||Price for Life 100 Mbps||$49†||100 Mbps||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet||Spectrum Internet®||$49.99‡||Up to 100 Mbps||View Plan|
Recommended mobile plans
You’ll only use mobile data for your Arlo Video Doorbell if you check the live-feed and talk to visitors when you’re not on Wi-Fi. If you spend most of your day away from a Wi-Fi safe harbor, then you might want to consider upgrading your mobile plan to one of these picks recommended by our very own Tyler Abbott.
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